Sexual cannibalism refers to a female’s cannibalizing of her male mate prior to, during or after copulation. It is a phenomenon characterized primarily by members of arachnid orders as well as several insect orders. The adaptive foraging hypothesis, aggressive spillover hypothesis and mistaken Identity hypothesis are several hypotheses that have been proposed to explain how sexual cannibalism evolved. This behavior is believed to have evolved as a manifestation of sexual conflict, occurring when the reproductive interests of males and females differ. In many of the species that exhibit sexual cannibalism, the female will cannibalize the male upon detection. Females of cannibalistic species are generally hostile and unwilling to mate; thus many males of these species have developed adaptive behaviors to counteract female aggression.
Famous quotes containing the word cannibalism:
“There is a cannibalism thats loose in our society in which public figures such as the Clintons could try to come into this town and do something good for this country and then they get hammered away even though theyre trying to do the right thing.”
—David R. Gergen (b. 1942)